Expert evaluation brings enhancement and recognition of southwest Michigan wines

Wine makers, wine grape growers, retailers, restaurateurs and wine consultants learned to assess Lake Michigan Shore wine varietal character, taste and balance against world benchmarks at a recent industry event.

Lake Michigan Shore Appellation wines were among top wines in an educational and blind tasting including wines from viticultural regions around the world sponsored by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Grape Society February 1, 2011, at the Michigan State University Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center.

Master Sommeliers, Ron Edwards of Five Star Services in Charlevoix, Mich. and Sally Mohr of Boulder, Colo., teamed up with Yuriko Shimizu Cooper, sommelier and culinary consultant, to guide more than 70 participants through an educational process of evaluating and comparing local wines for varietal character, taste and balance in the all-day event. It was all was part of Southwest Michigan Horticulture Days. Evaluation factors reflect wine grape production practices, as well as, wine-making skill.

Participating wineries were Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery, Contessa Wine Cellars, Domaine Berrien Cellars,Free Run Cellars, Hickory Creek Winery, Karma Vista Vineyards and Winery, Lawton Ridge Winery, Lemon Creek Winery, Round Barn Winery and Distillery, Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant, St. Julian Wine Company and White Pine Winery

The wine evaluation workshop attracted tasting room staff, wine retailers, restaurateurs, wine consumers and media in addition to wine makers and grape growers from across lower Michigan and northern Indiana. Retailer feedback included plans to sell more Lake Michigan Shore Appellation wines, and the ability to speak more intelligently in promoting Michigan wines.

This program was made possible by the support from the Michigan Grape Society, Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Harding’s Friendly Markets,Lambrecht’s Package Liquor Store, Dow AgroSciences, Steelite International, Paw Paw Wine Distributors and Michigan State University.  

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